Answer the following true-false questions. 

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Answer the following true-false questions.

Then answer the same questions after you study the whole topic.

Are the answers different?

Are the following statements True or False?

1. An OHP is for the display of 35mm slides.

2. A document distributed to an audience is called a 'handout'.

3. There are only two ways in which we can modulate our voice.

4. Eighty percent of the information that we absorb is absorbed visually.

5. A barchart can be horizontal or vertical.

6. Active verbs are more powerful than passive verbs.

7. Signposting is a technique used only during the introduction of a presentation.

8. 'To rehearse' means 'to write'.

9. It is important to give as much information on a graphic as possible.

10. Indelible markers are intended for use with flipcharts, not whiteboards.



Unit 1 What Makes a Good Presentation?


· What is a presentation?

· What types of presentations do you know? Which of them do you see at the university? Which of them have you already used?



Exercise 1. What makes a good presentation?


You have three minutes to write your answer on a piece of paper.

Now compare notes with your partner and discuss.

Present your ideas to the rest of the class.



Exercise 2. Planning and getting started


The text below contains several recommendations for giving effective presentations. Scan the text to match the seven points below to the right paragraph, (a-g). You do not have to read the text in detail.

1. Choose visuals to support the presentation.

2. Have a simple, clear structure.

3. Show enthusiasm.

4. Use Power Point.

5. Making informal presentations.

6. Consider the audience.

7. Dealing with nerves.


What advice from Luis E. Lamela do you think is the most important?



(a) The key to a successful oral presentation is to keep things simple. I try to stick to three points. I give an overview of the points, present them to the audience, and summarize them at the end.


(b) My purpose or desired outcome, the type of audience, and the message dictate the formality of the presentation, the kind of visuals, the number of anecdotes, and the jokes or examples that I use. Most of my presentations are designed to sell, to explain, or to motivate. When I plan the presentation, I think about the audience. Are they professionals or nonprofessionals? Purchasers or sellers? Providers or users? Internal or external? My purpose and the audience mix determine the tone and focus of the presentation.


(c) When I make a presentation, I use the visuals as the outline. I will not use notes. I like to select the kind of visual that not only best supports the message but also best fits the audience and the physical location. Power Point, slides, overhead transparencies, and flip charts are the four main kinds of visuals I use.


(d) Power Point and slide presentations work well when I am selling a product or an idea to large groups (15 people or more). In this format, I like to use examples and graphs and tables to support my message in a general way.


(e) In small presentations, including one-on-ones and presentations where the audience is part of the actual process, I like transparencies or flip charts. They allow me to be more informal.


(f) I get very, very nervous when I speak in public. I handle my nervousness by just trying to look as if, instead of talking to so many people, I'm walking in and talking to a single person. I don't like to speak behind lecterns. Instead, I like to get out and just be open and portray that openness: "I'm here to tell you a story."


(g) I try very hard for people to enjoy my presentations by showing enthusiasm on the subject and by being sincere. I try not to use a hard sell – I just try to report or to explain – and I think that comes across. In addition, it helps that I am speaking about something that I very strongly believe in and something that I really, really enjoy doing.


Luis E. Lamela, February 11,1997

From Business and Administrative Communication by Kitty Locker, Irwin McGraw-Hili, 1998


Exercise 3. Listen to a group of management trainees talking about the preparation of presentations. They mention eight key areas, each represented by one of the pictures below. Number the pictures in order in which they are mentioned.

Comment on any of the points mentioned in the discussion you have heard. Which do you think are the most important?

Now arrange the areas in order of their importance (1-most important, 8 – least important). Be ready to comment on your choice.


Exercise 4. The audience

Read the comments from the audience who are listening to a presentation at an international conference. What caused the problem in each case?


a) "What on earth is he talking about?" "I have no idea!"

b) "Hey, Sarah! Wake up! He's finished!"

c) "Read that! I can't read that! I'd need a pair of binoculars!"

d) "Speak up! I can't hear a thing!"

e) "Summarize four main points? I only noticed one! Have I been asleep?"



Exercise 5. Look at the following situations.


Ø A medical conference in Tokyo with papers on new techniques in open heart surgery.


Ø An internal meeting of administrative staff to discuss a new accounting procedure.


Ø The Purchasing and Product Managers of a Taiwanese company interested in buying some production equipment from your company.


Ø A staff meeting to discuss a charity event for earthquake victims.



Imagine you have to give a brief presentation in two of the previous situations, plus one other situation that you decide on. Make brief notes on the following:


a) Will your talk be formal or informal?

b) What are the audience's expectations in terms of technical detail, expertise, etc.?

c) What is the audience's probable level of specialist knowledge? Are they experts or non-experts?

d) How long will your talk be: five minutes, twenty minutes, half a day, or longer?

e) What is your policy on questions? Will the audience interrupt or will they ask questions afterwards? Will there be any discussion?

f) How will you help the audience to remember what you tell them?



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